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The arms of the University of Manitoba

March 10, 2014 — 

The University Shield, or more officially the “Armorial Bearings” of the University of Manitoba was granted to the University onUniversity of Manitoba coat of arms October 15th, 1992, by Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn and presented by Robert Watt, the chief herald of Canada. At the time the university president was Dr. Arnold Naimark and the chancellor Arthur Mauro. However, what is known as the Symbolism or official description of the arms was not actually granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority (a branch of the Governor General’s Office) until last year. The Symbolism is written as follows:

The arms are based on the seal adopted by the university at its establishment in 1877, a quartering of the arms of the province of Manitoba and the university’s three founding colleges: the Collège de Saint-Boniface (now the Université de Saint-Boniface), St. John’s College and Manitoba College. The open book symbolizes knowledge, while the coat of arms recalls the placement of the Royal Crown at the top of the original design.


The predecessor

U of M crest 1919

A wood plaque from 1919 showing the shield of the U of M at that time. // Archives and Special Collections


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3 comments on “The arms of the University of Manitoba

  1. Dean

    Always interesting to hear the history of a coat of arms, I would be interested to learn how the elements that are part of our current University logo were chosen and their significance, there seems to be some elements taken directly from the arms.

  2. Cedric

    The wooden plaque mentioned here can be seen in the Great Hall of Hart House at the University of Toronto (along with the armorial achievements of many other Commonwealth and WWI allied power universities). It’s a bit of ways away from UofM!

  3. Richard Warkentin

    The open book on the top right has a biblical reference:. Daniel 1:17. Which refers to the four Hebrew boys growing in knowledge and wisdom. Was this verse associated with any of the founding colleges?

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